Day 346 | Sunday, 28 February 2021
It is time to say goodbye to the month of February and prepare to welcome in March.
The assigned Scripture lessons for this the second Sunday in Lent are Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22:23-31; Romans 4:13-25 and Mark 8:31-38. Genesis is God’s covenant with Abraham and the change of his name from Abram to Abraham. The Romans passage emphasizes how Abraham’s promise is received through faith. I am sharing the passage from Mark from The Message. I would encourage you to read the passage from several translations if you have them.
31 He then began explaining things to them: "It is necessary that the Son of Man proceed to an ordeal of suffering, be tried and found guilty by the elders, high priests, and religion scholars, be killed, and after three days rise up alive."
32 He said this simply and clearly so they couldn't miss it.
33 But Peter grabbed him in protest. Turning and seeing his disciples wavering, wondering what to believe, Jesus confronted Peter. "Peter, get out of my way! Satan, get lost! You have no idea how God works."
34 Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how.
35 Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self.
36 What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?
37 What could you ever trade your soul for?
38 "If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I'm leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you'll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels."
“This is the first of Jesus’ passion predictions. For Jesus, his role as Messiah is inseparable from his suffering, rejection, death, and resurrection. In contrast to his silence regarding his messianic role, he speaks of his passion and resurrection quite openly.” Depending on the translation, Jesus refers to himself as the Human One or Son of Man. This is a reference to Daniel 7:13 “one like a human being”. “Peter rejects Jesus passion prediction. If Jesus endures persecution, rejection, and death, the shame of these punishments, and perhaps the punishments themselves, could also fall upon his disciples. Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness. Now Jesus calls Peter Satan, perhaps because Peter tempts Jesus to abandon the suffering that he will have to endure. Peter sees things from a human perspective; God's perspective is very different. Jesus’ followers must be willing to give up all the things that they thought important. ‘Take up their cross.’ The cross was a Roman symbol of terror. Crucifixion was considered the worst way to die, not only because of the victims prolonged agony, but also because of the total humiliation of the victim and, by extension, his or her family and friends. It was a punishment for slaves and political rebels. Although Jesus words could be thought of as a call to martyrdom, it is more accurate to think of them as a demand for a total reordering of commitments. Jesus followers must be willing to embrace hardship, shame, and suffering for him. Jesus will be ashamed of those who are shamed by his death on the cross.” CEB Wesley Study Bible p 1265
Lord, as we continue our journey through these Lenten days, help us focus on our commitment to being a follower of Jesus in the truest sense. Lord, hear our prayers. Amen